Interviews

 

Interview by Suspense Radio

Click on "Pilot Episode" with air date of July 25, 2010

Please right click on this link to hear my interview with
Global Talk Radio!


Click "save as" and save it to your desktop
and listen to me anytime you want!

 

Interview by Suspense Magazine

Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration?

      My biggest inspiration is my mother, God rest her soul, who encouraged me to follow my passion for writing. There are others who have inspired me as well; including but not limited to: my husband Phillip, who is always supportive, and other friends.

What is your all-time favorite book?

      To this I must answer in the plural. The series "Stephanie Plum" by Janet Evanovich are my favorite. She writes with such wit that I can only hope to one day be as good as she is.

How long do you normally take to research your book?

      This depends upon what I am writing. For instance, in my 2nd novel of the Salina series Cruel Past, I researched different aspects and locations of the towns in New York that most events occurred in. That research probably took me about a week. My third book In the Name of Revenge was hardly any research at all. It is centered in cities of California, which I know well. If you are speaking of marketing research, that is different. Questions are asked, such as: Is there a market for what I'm writing? What type of people would most read what I'm writing? etc. This is a different type of research altogether and takes some time; again, depending upon the type of book that is being written.

What is on your Ipod now?

      Various music genres. I have my step-son's band--Simple Citizens--on there as well as Madonna, Credence Clearwater, etc.

Do you have any superstitions when you write, little quirks, etc? Superstitions?

      Yes. I don't tell anyone (except my editor) what the book is about and especially, what the title is. The only thing I will say is the genre. I feel that if I tell them, by the end of the novel it could all change anyway. As most writers have experienced, the ideas you start out with about what you think is going to happen, can completely change when the characters begin to "talk" to you. Quirks? Yes. Oddly enough, if someone is near my computer screen and my novel is opened, I'll shut my monitor off. It's not like that person is actually going to read it or know anything about it, it's just I don't want to take that chance. Silly, I know.

If you could solve any mystery for yourself, what would it be?

      The mystery of afterlife. I am not referring to God himself as, unless your an atheist or agnostic, you believe God exists; nor do I mean reincarnation. I am speaking of the premise that once you are gone and if it's God's will, you can come back to "see" those you left behind that are grieving and watch over them. I've had this experience and some have tried to convince me that it probably was just a dream, but I feel there was more to it.


If you could talk to any person, Alive or Dead, for one hour, who would it be?

       Most definitely, my mother. I miss her terribly.

I love to hear stories from authors about their first published book, how did you get
it done?

      That is a long story. To keep it short, I'll reiterate what I've spoken about before: when I was about fourteen years old, my father shared with me his passion for reading. I began to read and then decided that I could write a mystery too. I tried and wrote about four chapters. I showed my father; sitting there with apprehension and excitement while he read my works. He gave me a lecture on plagiarism. Those were my words and what he said crushed me. I didn't write again until I was an adult. By then my father passed away and I showed it to my mother. She encouraged me to continue as she felt I had talent. However, it still took until after she passed away for me to get enough courage to complete the manuscript I was working on and submit it. I was accepted (I was so excited!) and I dedicated my first and second novels to my mother.

What future plans can you tell us about?

      Professionally, I have a lot of irons in the fire, so to speak. Currently, I am trying to form a
non-profit organization with two other people with which we can hold writer's conferences and do other various projects. I work full time as a paralegal, which certainly keeps me busy. I participate in book signings now and will be doing so in the future (that's a given). I am in the middle of completing my bachelor's degree in creative writing and perhaps, will go on to get a MFA. I have completed my third manuscript (which is in the hands of the Cliffhanger's Literary Agency as we speak) and have began my fourth novel. I have written a few short stories, which I hope to include in a book of short stories once I write enough of them. I would also like to teach on writing and the different tools and techniques of the craft.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do for fun?

      I love to scrapbook. I've done several and many people have commissioned me to do them professionally in the past. I currently only scrapbook for myself now. I am a creative person and when I'm not "creating" a fiction novel, I like to create and preserve memories.

Interview by Annick of Euro Reviews

Why the title Cruel Whispers? (I think I know after reading your book)

I ORIGINALLY NAMED THE BOOK "WHISPERS" BUT BECAUSE MY PUBLISHER ALREADY HAD A BOOK IN PUBLICATION WITH THAT NAME, THEY ASKED THAT I RENAME IT. I CHOSE "CRUEL WHISPERS" BECAUSE JANICE, A CHARACTER IN MY BOOK, WOULD CRUELLY WHISPER TO FREDRIC THAT NO ONE WOULD HAVE HIM IF SHE COULDN'T...IT WAS A TWIST TO MAKE THE READER THINK THAT IT WAS JANICE THROUGHOUT THE BOOK. IT IS MY HOPE THAT I MANAGED TO HAVE THE READER WONDER UNTIL THE END.


How many books have you already written and published?

CRUEL WHISPERS WAS MY FIRST PUBLISHED WRITING. ALTHOUGH AS A CHILD I DABBLED AND WROTE QUITE A BIT. I THINK MY EARLIER DABBLES AT WRITING ARE WHAT LED ME TO CRUEL WHISPERS. AS I MATURED, SO DID MY WRITING STYLE.


How does it feel to have Cruel Whispers published?

LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE! I CANNOT EXPLAIN IN WORDS HOW MUCH THIS HAS MEANT TO ME. AS A CHILD IT WAS A DREAM, ONE THAT I NEVER IMAGINED I WOULD EVENTUALLY COME TO REALIZE. I HAVE BEEN BLESSED AND THANK GOD EVERY DAY FOR ALLOWING ME TO FEEL THIS, TO KNOW THAT A CHILDHOOD DREAM ACTUALLY CAME TRUE.

When I was reading Cruel Whispers, I noticed that Salina grows stronger and stronger, did you intent her to become so strong or did it just happen?

I INTENDED SALINA TO GROW STRONGER AS THE STORY WENT ON. SALINA HAD BEEN THROUGH TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS IN A BAD MARRIAGE (AND BEFORE HER BAD MARRIAGE - WHICH IS WHAT YOU WILL FIND OUT IN THE SECOND BOOK) AND THOSE SUCH OBSTACLES IN HER LIFE WERE PUT THERE TO MAKE HER A STRONGER, MORE ACCEPTING INDIVIDUAL. ACCEPTING MEANING THAT SHE ALLOWED HERSELF TO ACCEPT THAT LIFE WASN'T WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU, BUT WHAT YOU MADE IT. SHE FACED THE CHALLENGE OF HER EX-HUSBAND KIDNAPPING HER AND WENT ON WITH HER LIFE. (AGAIN, AS YOU WILL SEE LATER)

Janice is a very labile, obsessive person, have you ever met anyone like that in real life?

OBSESSIVE PEOPLE I HAVE DEFINITELY MET THROUGHOUT MY LIFE. BUT IF YOU WERE TO ASK IF THOSE PEOPLE HAD ANY INFLUENCE ON HOW I BUILT JANICE AS A CHARACTER, I WOULD SAY NO.

When may we expect a new novel from your hand?

I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON MY SECOND NOVEL. I AM PRAYING THAT I WILL HAVE IT OUT TO THE PUBLIC IN MID TO LATE 2006.

Like I wrote in my review of Cruel Whispers, I regret that it only counts 67 pages. I like Salina a lot. Is there any chance that she will be a character in one of your future books?

YES, SALINA WILL BE THE MAIN CHARACTER IN MY NEXT BOOK. ALTHOUGH IT IS A SEQUEL OF SORTS TO CRUEL WHISPERS, IT WILL ALSO BE CONSIDERED A STAND ALONE.

I know that you grew up in a family that loves to read. Do you have a favorite author?

YES. I GREW UP READING NANCY DREW AND THE HARDY BOYS. NOW, MORE MATURE, I LOVE, TO NAME A FEW, JANET EVANOVICH, STEPHEN KING AND DANIELLE STEELE. THERE ARE MANY AUTHORS I ENJOY READING.

What made you decide to have Cruel Whispers published?

TWO REASONS. FIRST, MY MOTHER, RUTH GARDINIER WAS THE SOLE PERSON WHO KNEW THAT I HAD STARTED THAT BOOK. SHE HAD ALWAYS ENCOURAGED ME TO FINISH IT BUT I NEVER DID. THEN I LOST MY MOM IN SEPTEMBER 2004. AFTER SHE PASSED, I PICKED IT UP AGAIN AND FINISHED IT - FOR HER. AND IT IS DEDICATED TO HER. SECOND REASON IS MY HUSBAND. PHILLIP ENCOURAGED ME ALSO. HE TOLD ME I SHOULD SEND IT IN TO A PUBLISHER AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. HE BELIEVED IN ME (AND STILL DOES). I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL TO BOTH MY MOTHER AND MY HUSBAND.

Thank you for this interview Starr!

____________________________________________________